IDF soldier killed as Israel begins ground invasion into Gaza

The IDF began a ground invasion into Gaza on Thursday (illustrative photo). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Nahal Brigade Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, was killed as Israel on Thursday began a ground operation in Gaza with the goal of eliminating the threat of terror tunnels.

"We cannot solve the issue of the tunnels from the air alone, and therefore our troops are doing so on the ground," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Friday.

Hamas fired more than 100 rockets at Israel on Thursday after a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire ended at 3 p.m. In advance of its ground operation, the IDF warned the citizens of Gaza to evacuate their homes by dropping 100,000 leaflets over the area and leaving recorded phone messages for hundreds of thousands of civilians.

"The IDF has outstanding ethics," Netanyahu said. "We do not seek to harm so much as one innocent person, we only operate against terror targets, and we lament any harm that erroneously comes to civilians. Those responsible for civilian deaths are those who attack our civilians while using their own as human shields."

Posted on July 18, 2014 .